Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Competition: Win a Signed Copy of "A Complaint is a Gift"

To celebrate the launch of the second edition of "A Complaint is a Gift", we've decided to give away 5 signed copies of the book.

All you have to do is send us your best customer service story - it can be either good or bad service, but is has to be a good story :-) - and we will select the 5 best and publish them here on the site (please let us know if you want to be anonymous on the site).

Send your story, along with your name, address and email address to us before September 1st and a signed copy of the book could be winging its way to you before the end of September.

Seen on The Prize Finder

Monday, 21 July 2008

"Practical Leadership" Seminar Dates for 2009

The Practical Leadership seminars are proving to be very popular with 35 of the in-depth 6 day seminars held in Cotignac, Provence, France already having been held. The seminars are an introduction to the 4 key areas of management today as developed in Claus's theories: Leadership, Productivity, Relations & Quality. We will also soon be launching 2 day follow-up seminars in each of the aforementioned areas for customers who have already attended the Practical Leadership seminar.

The seminar is for anyone who is or who wants to become a leader. The seminar is held by Claus Møller and contains a framework for understanding leadership and gives you the tools to act as a leader in your daily life as well as your career. Along with the 6 days of instruction and one-on-one coaching you will also take extensive tests and will receive a full set of books, tests and tools to help you improve your leadership abilities.

We can now announce the dates for the 6 seminars to be held in 2009 and they are as follows:
PL 39: March 21st - 26th (in Danish)
PL 40: April 25th - 30th (in Danish)
PL 41: June 13th - 18th (in English)
PL 42: September 5th - 10th (in Danish)
PL 43: September 26th - October 1st (in English)
PL 44: October 24th - 29th (in English)

There are also still very limited places left on the remaining Practical Leadership seminars for 2008:
PL 36: September 6th - 11th (in Danish)
PL 37: September 20th - 25th (in English)
PL 38: October 25th - 30th (in Danish)

For more information on pricing, the contents of the seminar and to download a brochure please go to ClausMoller.com. There you will also find information on how to book your place at one of the upcoming seminars.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Thanks, Tony!

I just wanted to thank Tony Hsieh of Zappos.com publicly. Tony has, very kindly, written the foreword to the second edition of A Complaint Is a Gift, and is somebody who really "gets" that business is about the customers - rather than systems and policies making it easy to shift products. Tony passionately believes in what he is doing and Zappos is definitely one of the true shining beacons of customer service anywhere in the world today.

For those of you who haven't heard of Zappos yet, they're one of the fastest growing shoe retailers and last year generated revenues of more than $800 million. However, they're a very atypical company because their mission is not to become the world's largest shoe retailer, but rather "providing the best online experience possible".

Over the next couple of weeks I will tell you a bit more about Tony and his company and give you some insights into what makes them tick and what makes them exceptional in my opinion. For now, I don't want to dilute the message of the big thank you I would like to send to one of MY customer service heroes for writing the foreword to our book.

The second edition of A Complaint Is a Gift will be published by Berrett-Koehler on August 1st, 2008.

Find out more about Zappos.com

Friday, 4 July 2008

Five Kinds of Quality

In my last blog on quality I delved into the topics of quality areas and quality factors. Following on from that I will now present the basis for my overall view on quality - the FIVE kinds of quality:

5 Kinds of Quality:

  1. Personal Quality
  2. Team Quality
  3. Product Quality
  4. Service Quality
  5. Company Quality

These five kinds of quality are all related. E.g. High personal quality and team quality are prerequisites of product quality, service quality, and the total company quality.

It is also important to understand that EACH of the five kinds of quality has two dimensions: a hard and a soft one.

Hard quality means concrete/technical quality.

Good hard quality exists when demands and expectations are met on a concrete, technical level.

Soft quality means the human, emotional side of quality.

Good soft quality exists when demands and expectations on a human/emotional level are met.

In order to ensure the development and survival of the organisation, it is necessary to constantly monitor and develop the five kinds of quality, in both the hard and the soft areas. In the following quality blog posts I will delve into each of these five areas and give you concrete examples of what good soft and hard quality is and explain my thinking in further detail.

If you haven't already done so, I would also recommend that you go back to the beginning and read all of my posts on the topic of quality on this blog.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Quality Areas and Quality Factors

Last week, I shared some quick thoughts with you about quality development. Following on from that, in this my fourth blog on the topical quality series, I will discuss quality areas and quality factors. To get the full benefit from reading this, please ensure that you read the previous three posts first.

In order to be able to define the Ideal level of Performance (IP level) and measure the Actual level of Performance (AP level) respectively, it is necessary to determine what is to be measured, evaluated and improved regularly.

For this purpose I introduced the concepts of "quality areas" and "quality factors"

Quality Areas
A quality area can be defined as:

"An area within which measurements must be made in order to determine the quality level and ensure that the quality performed meets the demands and expectations of internal and external stakeholders"

Within each quality area there is at least one,and usually more than one, quality factor.

Quality Factors
A quality factor can be defined as:

"An element - a measuring point - whose quality level helps to determine whether the total quality within a quality area is experienced as good or bad"

In order to work specifically on quality development, the quality factors within each quality area need to be formulated unambiguously and to be measurable.

For each quality factor:

  • The IP level needs to be defined
  • The AP level needs to be measured
and, if there is a difference:
  • quality development should be initiated
Quality on Several Levels
Quality areas and quality factors are determined on various levels depending on where in the quality process you are, and on which level within the company the quality is to be measured.

An example: The year end result is a quality area, which ought to be of interest to top management. Profitability would be a quality factor within this area. If the profitability is unsatisfactory, this may be due to quality deficiencies on a lower level, for example customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction can be measured by the number of customers who stay and those who leave the organisation, i.e. the churn rate. If the churn rate is too high, this may be due to quality deficiencies on a lower level, e.g. complaint handling. The quality of complaint handling can be measured by the number of customers who remain customers after having complained. If these customers are too few, this may be due to quality deficiencies in e.g. the way a complaining customer is received and treated. The quality of that treatment can be measured e.g. by the degree with which the complaining customer feels welcome with their written or oral complain. If the customer does not feel welcome with their telephone, email or in-person complaint this may be due to the "time waiting on the telephone", or the "delay in email response times", or even the lack of "commitment" from the person with whom the customer is dealing.

Quality Hierarchy

As becomes quite clear from the example given above, in order to meet the quality demands and expectations from the external stakeholders, it is imperative to deal with quality factors at the lowest level. For this reason, it is necessary to work your way downwards in the "quality hierarchy". This way the causes of quality problems are cured, not just the symptoms!

In the next post I will discuss the 5 different kinds of quality that make up the overall quality concept.